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voluntary accident insurance

What is voluntary accident insurance?

Voluntary accident insurance refers to supplemental accident coverage in which benefits are offered by an employer but paid for by employees, via payroll deduction. Voluntary accident insurance is an accident insurance policy (aka, an accident supplement) that an employer offers to employees.

If employees wish to enroll in the coverage, the premiums are deducted from their paychecks. Group rates for accident supplements make the coverage more affordable than it would be if each employee had to purchase an individual plan.

(Note that there’s a common misconception that “group rates” are always lower than individual rates. That’s not always the case, especially for major medical health insurance, where the full cost for group coverage is comparable to the cost of individual coverage, but mostly funded by employers. However, supplemental benefits such as accident coverage, dental coverage, and disability coverage, are generally less expensive if obtained on a voluntary basis via payroll deduction, versus what they would cost if employees purchased them privately on their own.)

Workplace accidents are covered under workers’ compensation insurance, but accidents that occur when employees are not at work would be covered by a voluntary accident insurance plan. The accident insurance would help to cover the out-of-pocket costs associated with the employee’s medical insurance plan (deductible and coinsurance) that the employee would otherwise have to pay. Employees who are offered voluntary accident coverage typically have the option to add their spouse and dependents to the plan.

Voluntary accident insurance will typically have a maximum dollar limit that it will pay. And many plans will also have maximum benefit caps that apply to specific services, such as ER visits, urgent care visits, stitches, surgery, etc. If a covered member receives medical treatment for an accident or injury, they use their major medical coverage and then submit proof of their out-of-pocket costs to the accident plan for reimbursement, up to the applicable plan maximums.

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